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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post

    So we have a few options:


    1) Try to incorporate things D&D is not, and is in fact mechanically discouraged from being, into D&D campaigns. And, often as not, failing at it because of the mechanical disconnect.

    2) Run a campaign in a non D&D system, one which perhaps better reflects what ALL of the group - including the GM, who is not emotionless slave labor - wants.

    3) Realize that there is no compromise, the palyers want to be unthinking murder-hobos and the GM wants a different style of game. Much like breaking a relationship,I would say it is better to pull the trigger cleanly than let it devolve into misery for the sake of having one.
    OR

    1) Encourage healthy discussion among the group to determine participant desires and come to an agreement about how to proceed or break up the group. And, as you point out, just as with any relationship sometimes the best solution is pulling the trigger and making a clean break.

    2) Recognize that different desires produce different styles of play and put some effort into learning how to recognize those desires and which game styles best suit them.

    3) Discuss alternate mechanics that support styles of play other than the D&D default video-game-mode that encourages murder-hoboing. E.G. Awarding experience for recognizing the big bad guy was too much and successfully escaping. Or for non-violent conflict resolution.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Troll in the Playground
     
    georgie_leech's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post

    Rather than trying to force the players to learn to flee, I think it would actually make more sense to try to train the players to surrender instead. Especially because scattering to the four winds inherently splits the party, while being captured keeps them together. In the case of truly overpowering encounters, you can have the aggressor, assuming they're intelligent, utilize non-lethal force to subdue the party (D&D, unfortunately, has mechanical issues in this area) and capture them that way. After all, an enemy that truly does possess 'overwhelming' superiority really ought to be able to capture the PCs without killing them.
    5e doesn't, actually. Unless you're using a Save or Die or something, you can just choose to knock out someone instead of killing them outright.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    5e also has a chase scene mechanics. Those remove OAs, emphasize the need to Dash or fall behind, and put a limit on the Dash action. otoh they aren't going to help much if your enemy has a clear shot at you in the open and enough range to take advantage of it. Or much higher movement, the endurance to keep up, and no reason to stop chasing you. But in those circumstances you should be screwed and incentivized to surrender.

    BECMI had an evasion mechanic, because older editions of D&D didn't assume you could win every encounter, and fleeing rules were critical.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    If you thought getting players to flee was hard, getting them to surrender is a whole level worse.

    Most players are fine with fleeing IF:
    1) They know it's even possible.
    2) It doesn't just mean sacrificing the slower party members.
    3) It doesn't lead to a total failure state where they might as well have gone down fighting. As "the BBEG is going to end the world" type of plots tend to imply.

    But being captive? Most players hate that, to the extent they'd rather take the chance on a TPK. After all, their new characters would be free.

    You can argue that it's part of books and movies, that they *should* like it ... doesn't matter, most people won't. So use it *very* sparingly, IMO.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    2) It doesn't just mean sacrificing the slower party members.
    Except in Call of the Cthulu.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    @KoN: The bias you're looking for is known as the availability heuristic - in short, we tend to over value that data which is available, regardless of the likely presence of far greater quantities of unavailable or undisplayed data. While that exists, it is irrelevant to this conversation in of that the question the original poster is asking, specifically, is how to deal with a D&D problem. We are not trying to prove that D&D is a bug-ridden hellhole of a system, or that every D&D game is fundamentally doomed, merely that of the problems it has this one is more common than others. Which then, without fallacy, warrants examining what in the system makes this problem more likely to pop up than say, "there is not enough murder-hobo action in D&D, how do I make more of it?." And if it appears that the system itself is a cause for a problem that is making the GM unhappy, then it makes sense to consider switching systems to one that is stronger in the area in question. For this thread's purposes, "thematically, mechanically, and culturally making it more likely players won't charge headlong into a fight with a solidly rooted expectation they should not realistically have (for, you know, the reality of sorcerer tieflings and barbarians who literally can be shot in the chest more times if they kill enough orcs)."


    @JJordan: Regrettably, while those are indeed mature and available options, they are fighting up hill - and generally fall into at best a poor compromise, and at worst my first issue. Lets explore how this can go:


    You have a mature and socially adept conversation with the group (a mildy optimistic assumption). You conclude that you want to include non-D&D "murder hobo series of level appropriate encounters" facets in your play style. Espionage, politics, less magic, more freeform magic, being wary of short and deadly surprises, or whatnot. At best, the GM manages to work these all in and the players keep it in mind. But it is working counter to the game-system. What D&D wants to do, what it's spells and classes and levels and GM advice in the back pages and so on all want to do, is put you back into a series of winnable level appropriate encounters. It's splats are balanced to it, its modules written with that in mind, it's online communities talk about min-maxing versus that concept. You are fighting against the system to get what you want because it is not what the system wants; without vigilance, the mechanics will draw a only mildly motivated player back to ground zero. Where our GM is unhappy.

    Alternatively, if all your players agree they want one of those things that core D&D is basically not good at; then you should consider playing a system that is good at it. If everyone wants a little bit of this and a little bit of that, the game eventually reverts to its lowest common denominator - which in D&D is a bunch of level appropriate encounters you are supposed to win. Running away, weighing your odds, having an insurance policy - these are not things D&D is good at it. It CAN do them, just not naturally and well. Michael Jordan playing baseball if you will.

    Perhaps you consider modding the mechanics to create "not D&D." At this point, why not just use professionally developed mechanics from any number of not D&Ds? It's not as if it is 1970 and this is the only option. You can buy the average PDF for less than most video games, and without 3,000+ pages of supplements and splats, the core of most systems can be shaken down in a session or two.


    Or, determined to stick your D&D guns, you shift the mechanics. Now you have two issues. First, the game was built with those systems in mind. So you will have to deal with cascading effects, adjusting, tweaking, getting further and further away from core D&D. At which point, you know...there are people who have built, playtested, and thought through the issues in any one of the thousands of not D&Ds. Or players will back-hack the effects because the game rewards them for doing so, negating the intent to begin with.

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    If you thought getting players to flee was hard, getting them to surrender is a whole level worse.

    Most players are fine with fleeing IF:
    1) They know it's even possible.
    2) It doesn't just mean sacrificing the slower party members.
    3) It doesn't lead to a total failure state where they might as well have gone down fighting. As "the BBEG is going to end the world" type of plots tend to imply.

    But being captive? Most players hate that, to the extent they'd rather take the chance on a TPK. After all, their new characters would be free.

    You can argue that it's part of books and movies, that they *should* like it ... doesn't matter, most people won't. So use it *very* sparingly, IMO.
    Indeed. For most players they'll be sad when a character dies, but don't you dare TAKE THEIR STUFF! If you have to take their stuff for whatever reason you better let them get it back within a real world hour. It's not rational but often true.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    What I would suggest (I haven’t played D&D for a long time so the mechanics may have changed)

    Declaring “flee”.
    1) The character triggers no Attack of Opportunity for moving from adjacent squares from an opponent.
    2) the character moves at double rate.
    3) after declaring that he/she is fleeing the character must continue fleeing until they exit the map/combat area. Each turn they must move towards their nearest safe exit.
    4) a fleeing character may not attack or cast offensive/damaging spells. A fleeing character may, at the DM’s discretion may cast defensive skills that will delay pursuit such as grease or web.
    5) the fleeing character is more difficult to hit and there is a -5 modifier applied to any attempts to hit a fleeing character.

    Having a home brew like this makes fleeing a mechanically sound and sensible thing to do. And if the party overmatches opponents who then successfully flee it shows them that they can do it too.
    Hmmmm... good stuff there. A little light editing might help.

    Actions in Combat (House Ruled)

    Declaring the Flee Encounter action

    Any single character, or party acting together, may declare the Flee Encounter action.

    1) After declaring the Flee Encounter action, characters trigger no Attack of Opportunity for moving away from threatened squares.
    2) After declaring the Flee Encounter action, characters move at double their normal movement rate.
    3) After declaring the Flee Encounter action, characters must continue fleeing until they exit the map/combat area. Each turn they must move away from the threat they are fleeing.
    4) After declaring the Flee Encounter action, a character may not attack or cast offensive/damaging spells. A fleeing character may, at the DM’s discretion, cast defensive spells that will delay pursuit such as grease, web and obscuring mist. Travel spells such as dimension door, teleport, and plane shift may also be used to aid in fleeing the encounter.
    5) Declaring the Flee Encounter action grants a -5 modifier to any attempts to hit a fleeing character by targeting a spell or weapon. Area of effect spells are unaffected but may still miss completely if movement is not taken into consideration.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    Quote Originally Posted by Bannan_mantis View Post
    Now I ask how do you tell your players that basically "this guy is way to powerful for you, you shouldn't keep fighting him." The enemy just being more powerful than them isn't working so I'd like extra ideas.
    Oh I don't. They learned the hard way that there are many things that are beyond (or nearly beyond) their ability to deal with directly. Now they act and react in what I'd say a more realistic manner, approaching the unknown with caution, observing, trying to talk it out, bribing, preparing traps, and if things aren't looking good will run and hide. Sometimes they've run from things that they actually could have killed, which I think is also fine.

    They know I'm not using level appropriate encounters or really considering their abilities at all (as in, if they have fire magic they might run into things that fire just won't work on). Some monsters are very hard to hurt, others are completely immune to everything they've got. it goes both ways, however, and some are also easily thwarted by their abilities.

    This has led to them surprising me on a number of occasions, defeating monsters I didn't think they could, or defeating them in unconventional ways in order to ensure their survival (such as by bringing a monster into a room with another, sealing it shut, and waiting to pick off the survivor).

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    Be really overy and play a clip of either Obiwan saying "Run Luke, run" in Star Wars or Galdalf saying "Fly you fools" in Lord of the Rings

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    DeTess's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make sure players know they should run

    I think the most effective ways to get this done is to tell the players very clearly before the game starts that the world is not level-scaled and that there will be threats that they can't take and that they will be expected (and allowed) to flee from those.

    Then, to reinforce that notion, throw something at them fairly early on that has a breath weapon just weak enough to not one-hit-kill any of the people in the party unless you roll really well, and leave a clear route of escape. After that, the players should have gotten the message and will be evaluating most encounters far more carefully.

    The downside of this method is that the players might at times decide to avoid encounters that where planned for them to take on and win from, so make sure you're flexible enough to deal with that.
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